Liberty Alliance White Paper Outlines Federated Identity’s
Ability to Reduce Identity Theft

San Francisco, Calif. (RSA Security Conference) – February 23, 2004 – The Liberty Alliance today announced the availability of a white paper calling out the growing problem of identity theft and detailing ways in which federated identity and Liberty’s open standard can reduce online identity theft, its frequency and its potential impact on consumers. The white paper, The Liberty Alliance Protocol and Identity Theft White paper, also presents deployment recommendations for federated identity as a means to further mitigate risks.

Identity theft is a widespread and costly problem. Research analyst firm IDC reports that worldwide economic losses due to identity theft could reach $2 trillion by 2005 (April 2003). It’s not only costly, it’s time-consuming and a productivity drain on the economy. A U.S. Federal Trade Commission survey reports that in 2003 individuals spent an average of 30 hours to deal with their identity theft experience.

“Identity theft is extremely painful to consumers and very costly for businesses,” said Piper Cole, chair of Liberty’s public policy expert group and vice president for global public policy at Sun Microsystems. “It is costing merchants billions a year in charge-back fees and litigation and they are in need of an immediate solution to alleviate the bleed. Liberty’s federated identity framework is a part of that solution.”

Liberty’s federated identity model, which distributes identity information across various trusted parties, is inherently more secure than a centralized model where all information is accessible in one location. If a centralized database is breached, the entire content of that database can be a goldmine for hackers and thieves. In addition to the federation safeguards, Liberty’s framework also incorporates unique privacy controls and state-of-the-art security mechanisms to protect users and businesses.

Further details and deployment considerations for how federated identity and Liberty’s open standard can alleviate identity theft can be found at:

This white paper, like Liberty’s member base, draws on insight from companies across industries and around the world. Editorial contributors to the paper include representatives from the following companies: Entrust Inc., Fidelity Investments, France Telecom, Nokia, NTT, Ping Identity Corporation, RSA Security, Sigaba, Sun Microsystems and Vodafone.

About the Liberty Alliance Project
The Liberty Alliance Project is an alliance of more than 150 companies, non-profit and government organizations from around the globe. The consortium is committed to developing an open standard for federated network identity that supports all current and emerging network devices. Federated identity offers businesses, governments, employees and consumers a more convenient and secure way to control identity information in today’s digital economy, and is a key component in driving the use of e-commerce, personalized data services, as well as web-based services. Membership is open to all commercial and non-commercial organizations.

If you are interested in seeing the full list of Liberty Alliance members or are interested in becoming a member, please visit us at

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